Is There Really Such a Thing as Synthetic Urine?

We live in a world of innovation and creativity, and unfortunately there are companies that have applied both concepts towards the development of products intended to help consumers escape drug use detection. These products are used by illicit substance users in an attempt to hide, flush out of the body, or trick drug tests.

It’s difficult for some employers to believe, but the range of products advertised in this category include synthetic urine, mouthwash and tablets containing creatine and B2 for flushing drug metabolites out of the body, shampoos that claim to mask drug metabolites in the hair, and even a prosthetic penis that holds synthetic urine.

Many of these companies promote themselves as selling “detoxifying” products because they don’t want to come right out and say that their products are used to cheat drug tests. The products that have been on the market the longest are synthetic urines which have become more sophisticated as time goes by.

  • Microwavable containers for heating synthetic urine to equivalent of body temperature
  • Temperature strips on the urine container so it’s possible to determine if the urine is warm enough to pass a drug tester’s inspection
  • Enclosed heater pads when microwaving is not possible
  • Balanced to match typical urine characteristics like pH balance and specific gravity
  • Contains creatinine which is one of the urine components used in drug testing
  • Has urine colouration

This is not an advertisement for synthetic urine! The list is provided only to give employers a good idea of the sophistication of the products illicit substance abusers are using to pass pre-employment and workplace drug testing. The prosthetic penis contains a reservoir which can hold at least 0.06 litres of synthetic urine. It is strapped to the body and can be bulky and uncomfortable, but some people will go to great lengths to pass a drug test.

Amazingly, these products are advertised as being intended only for lawfully administered drug tests. It should be noted that many of the U.S. states have already outlawed synthetic urine and Australia may eventually follow suit. Right now the Australian laws are not clear on whether selling fake urine is illegal.1

The real question is: Do these products work? Certainly there have been cases where synthetic urine has been used successfully by workers, but only when the employers have not been diligent in establishing proper drug and alcohol testing policies and procedures or are careless during the process. For example, a worker has an opportunity to substitute a urine specimen with synthetic urine. The good news for employers is that drug testing researchers are well aware of these products and have worked to develop drug and alcohol tests that can detect the presence of synthetic urine and other substitutions and adulterants.

Quality drug testing products for urine testing will also test for sample validity based on certain criteria like temperature. Despite the fact that fake urines come with heating pads, it is difficult for someone to maintain the right temperature when given short notice he/she is being drug tested. The Australian Standard AS/NZS 4308 states that urine sample temperature should be 33-38° C within 4 minutes of collecting the sample. If it’s not then it’s possible the urine is synthetic or has been tampered with somehow.2

Other validity testing markers will tests for laboratory ingredients commonly used in popular synthetic urine products including nitrate, oxidants and gluteraldehyde. Of course, the drug testing products can also detect if non-human urine is used.

Drug testing products like the Medix Pro-Split Cup 6+6 with Adulterant Tests are continually upgraded to meet the innovation and creativity in the fake drug and alcohol testing products market. The experts at CMM Technology at can answer any questions you might have about the best drug and alcohol testing products for your business.


1 Kruger, P. (2010, September 16). Fake Urine Compromises Work Place Drug Testing. Retrieved February 20, 2011, from ABC News PM Australia:

2 Symbion Pathology. (2010). Understanding Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace. Retrieved February 20, 2011, from Laverty Pathology:

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